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Small Business Essentials. Getting Your Business Online

getting your small business online

There’s no avoiding the internet. No matter what industry you’re operating in, every business can benefit from getting online.

Google processes over 40,000 searches every second, which means there are plenty of opportunities to get your business in front of potential customers. Existing customers can also benefit from being able to review your company, refer you to their friends, or find out about the other services you offer.

You don’t have to be an expert in web development to get your business online, and there are plenty of DIY options available out there that will walk you through the process step-by-step.

If you’re ready to take the next step for your business, why not start building your online presence following these simple steps.

1. Register a domain name

Your domain name is the address that people will type into the address bar. It should be short, memorable and closely linked to your business name. If you operate in the UK, you should choose a .co.uk domain whereas International companies might want to opt for a .com address. If your exact business name isn’t available, try a variation with a descriptive keyword. Just beware of accidentally spelling out new words.

2. Choose your hosting

The hosting part of your website package is where your website will be saved and the domain name is the address that tells your internet browser where to find it. Some hosting packages will include a free domain name, so it’s worth shopping around. When it comes to hosting, you can either build your own site on a platform like WordPress, or you could go down the fully-hosted route like Squarespace or Wix. These are very simple to use and will help you to create a professional looking site with no website coding experience.

3. Populate your website

Your website will only be as good as the content you put on it. Make sure you include all of the essential information such as your contact details, information about the services you provide and a geographical overview of the areas you cover. If you are struggling to write the content for your website, you could hire a copywriter to help you, or ask a friend or family member for their input. Just make sure you spell check the content before it goes live!

4. Think social

Social media can help you to reach new customers through recommendations from existing customers. Most people are on Facebook these days, so it makes sense to join them! Your Facebook profile should have all of the same information that can be found on your website including contact information and opening times. You can also use it to post updates about your business – just make sure you keep it professional! Accidentally posting a personal update on your professional page can be quite embarrassing.

5. Legal issues

There are a few legal issues that you will need to navigate in order to keep your business safe online. If you collect email addresses or other information from your customers or clients, you will need to make sure your business is GDPR complaint by May 2018. If you are going to use something known as “cookies” to save information about their website sessions, you will need to make sure your website clearly states this. And finally, if you are planning to offer professional advice via your website, you will want to make sure it is compliant with any industry regulatory bodies.

Getting online isn’t the only essential step businesses need to take. Getting the right kind of insurance for their unique needs is an essential step. If you’d like to start building your business quote, follow the link below or call us on 0161 833 2100.

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